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March 31, 2010

'Mad Men' shaking up Emmy submissions

More awards coverageBy Randee Dawn

This year, the folks behind “Mad Men” are hoping to score two outstanding actress nominations by positioning last year’s lead actress nominee Elisabeth Moss as supporting rather than lead. Sources tell us the thinking is that January Jones, snubbed last year and the year before, will have a better chance in the lead actress category without competition from Moss, so great as corporate climber Peggy Olson.

Unlike the Oscars, Emmy candidates get to submit in whichever category they choose. And this move makes sense. Matthew Weiner’s 60’s-set drama began with Peggy front and center, but Jones’s Betty Draper has slowly evolved from doting housewife to semi-empowered Don Draper-dumper. This season’s arc, which peaked with Betty outing Don’s deceptions and gearing up for a divorce, featured the kind of heavy “acting-acting” that Emmy voters tend to love.

Plus, as “Desperate Housewives” and “Sex and the City” have shown, having main characters run against each other can lead to nullification. Moss isn’t out of contention. In fact, she instantly becomes a front-runner for a supporting nod, but she’ll face stiff competition from the likes of Chloe Sevigny (“Big Love”) and Sandra Oh (”Grey’s Anatomy) and newcomers Christine Baranski (“The Good Wife”) and Khandi Alexander (once “Treme” debuts in April). She might even find strong competition close to home – Christina Hendricks continues to wow as Joan Holloway, even in reduced appearances this season - and last year’s winner, “24” president Cherry Jones, should show up again, especially now that the show has announced it will end after this season.


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